Monthly Archives: March 2012

Reseeding the barley

Today I reseeded three of the six beds of barley. I thought the rats had gotten to it but there wasn’t much evidence. It was more likely that birds had eaten the seeds at the time of planting or it had something to do with the soil. I should test the soil anyway to see what I’m working with. The smoked stout is now bottled. My first impressions were not very good, but admittedly I haven’t tried a lot of smoked beers. At first what I tasted was like drinking beer out of an ash tray that had a hot dog in it – yuk. A few sips later though, it really grew on me. The smoke tasted just like it had smelled on the day I smoked the malt and it blended well with the roasted character and hop bitterness of the stout. I’m looking forward to tasting it with carbonation.


Posted by on March 29, 2012 in Garden Updates


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Belgian Dubbel: My candi sugar success story

Out of all the ideas I had for this project, the candi sugar was by far the craziest. Making candi sugar out of my home grown sugar beets took a  very long time and judging by the flavor of the sugar I made I was pretty skeptical that I would produce anything short of a disastrous brew with it. But low and behold, wow what a contribution it made to my belgian dubbel. The bitterness and corn flavor did not show up in the beer at all. Only the caramel, molasses and anise flavors are present. It’s a great beer, one of my best, but to be critical it could have used more alcohol. I was disappointed the fermentation stopped a little short of my target. Ending up with a lower gravity would have added more complexity to this beer. It would have also helped boost the aroma a little too. I’m still giving this beer an A+. I’m still surprised I’m even making beer out of barley I grew, let alone a quality beer that’s true to it’s style.

  • 52.6% 2 row pale
  • 13.2% light caramel malt 10L
  • 13.2% aromatic malt
  • 13.2% chocolate caramel malt
  • 7.9% beet sugar candi sugar
  • Goldings or Northern brewer (mystery hops) aprox. 6%
  • 50% 60 min
  • 25% 20 min
  • 25% 5 min
  • Total bitterness 20.7 IBU
  • Wyeast Belgian Ardennes yeast
  • Direct heat mash
  • 101 F 30 min
  • 133 F 20 min
  • 158 F 3 hrs
  • OG. 1.066
  • FG  1.021
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Posted by on March 25, 2012 in The beers


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Beer #3 Belgian Golden Strong

I really lucked out on this one, it’s an awesome beer. However, one thing I forgot to do was drop the temperature during the secondary so this beer is not as clear as it could have been but it still tastes amazingly true to the style. For this flaw I’m giving it an A and not an A+.

I was all out of my acid malt and I knew my mash pH was going to be high so I made a sour mash the day before my brew day. This worked almost too well and I actually had to add a touch of baking soda to bring the pH back up to 5.2. Mental note; add a little sour mash at a time. Conversion for this one only took two hours and not three, maybe the pH had something to do with that. However as I’m writing this beer # 5, the smoked stout, is on it’s 4 th hour mashing. Not sure what’s going on there, probably too many special malts and not enough enzymes. Or maybe my cracked out kitten has angered the brewing gods.  Here’s the recipe:

  • 66.7% Pilsner malt
  • 13% light crystal malt
  • 13% white sugar
  • 6.7% soured malt
  • 50% hallertau (3%) 60 min
  • 25% hallertau 15 min
  • 25% hallertau 1 min
  • 24.8 total IBUs
  • Wyeast Belgian Ardennes

O.G. 1.066 F.G .998 A.B.V. 8.77%


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Posted by on March 13, 2012 in The beers


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